Monday, November 30, 2015

"Don't say what you think, because it might set off a crazy person"

Jim Geraghty hits the nail on the head this morning when he writes at National Review,
The On-Again, Off-Again Arguments about ‘Dangerous Rhetoric’ Leading to Violence

Let me get this straight. In the eyes of the Left . . .

. . . criticism of Planned Parenthood means something like the shooting in Colorado “was bound to happen“ . . .

. . . but chants where people describe police as “pigs” and call for them to be “fried like bacon” don’t lead to attacks on police . . .

. . . when an event by Pamela Geller is targeted by an Islamist shooter, it is “not really about free speech; it [is] an exercise in bigotry and hatred” and the attempt to kill her means she has “achieved her provocative goal” . . .

. . . while at the same time, investigators contend we may never know what motivated a 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez to kill four Marines and a sailor in an attack on Chattanooga’s U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center last July . .

. . . a shooting by a diagnosed schizophrenic, who believed that grammar was part of a vast, government-directed mind control effort, is characterized by the Southern Poverty law Center as having views that are the “hallmark of the far right and the militia movement” . . .

. . . while the shooter who opened fire in the lobby of the Family Research Council in downtown Washington in 2012, who planned to target the Traditional Values Coalition next, does not spur any need for a broader discussion or societal lessons about the demonization of political opponents . . .

. . . a California killer, who was treated by multiple therapists and already had police checking on him after posting disturbing YouTube videos, is a reflection of “sexist society” . . .

. . . but there’s little reason to ask whether the Oregon shooter’s decision to target Christians reflects a broader, societal hostility to Christians, or whether it reflects his personal allegiance to demons . . .

. . . when white supremacist Dylann Roof commits an act of mass murder in an African-American church, Salon declares, “White America is complicit” and the Washington Post runs a column declaring, “99 percent of southern whites will never go into a church, sit down with people and then massacre them. But that 99 percent is responsible for the one who does” . . .

. . . but the Roanoke shooter’s endless sense of grievance and perceptions of racism and homophobia in all of his coworkers represents him and him alone . . .

Do I have all that right? And does that make sense to anyone?

Wouldn’t Occam’s Razor suggest that those already driven by a desire or compulsion to kill other people are going to do so, and will merely latch on to whatever “reason,” justification, or excuse is at hand or is most convenient? Isn’t it ridiculous to expect sane people to watch what they say and restrict what thoughts they express in order to prevent a rampage by someone with an inherently illogical, literally unreasonable, not-sane thinking process?

Isn’t “don’t say what you think, because it might set off a crazy person” the most insidious form of censorship, because none of us can really know what prompts a crazy person to go on a violent rampage?

Today's podcast

Here is the podcast of my appearance today on the Peter Boyles show on 710 KNUS. I come on at the 28 minute mark.

Today's talk radio experience

That was fun! 710 KNUS host Peter Boyles was so warm and welcoming. I felt I could say any crazy thing that came into my mind (and I probably did)! My thanks to Peter for his kindness.

"They want to go back home."

Jose A. DelReal reports in the Washington Post,
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson — fresh from a recent visit to two Syrian refugee camps in Jordan — called Sunday for the United States and its international allies to focus on supporting existing facilities that shelter those who have fled the Syrian civil war.

“We're hearing that they all want to come here to the United States. And that's not what they want. They want to go back home,” Carson said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week," live from Amman, the Jordanian capital. “But they said the United States and other nations could be much more supportive of the herculean efforts manifested by the Jordanians in taking in people at a lot of expense to themselves.”

...He added that other countries in the region also should be asked to step in and accept a greater number of refugees, which would keep them near their home country.

...When pressed on how he would combat the Islamic State, Carson indicated that he was in favor of continuing to work with Kurdish forces in the region.

“What we've discovered that works is, you know, for instance, when we took Sinjar back. The Kurds were able to cut off the supply routes. and that softened the target,” Carson said, referring to the Iraqi city that was recently recaptured from the Islamic State. “And then, our special ops people were able to work with the Kurds very effectively, along with our air power, to take it back. That's a model that works. And that can be applied to other places, you know. Why reinvent the wheel? Just take the things that work.”
Read more here.

Putin/Trump revealed

Did you know that Donald Trump is actually Vladimer Putin with an outlandish wig? The Duffel Bag has the true story here.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Talk radio debut

I have been invited by Peter Boyles to be on his talk show tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. mountain time to discuss this post. Please pray that I don't make a fool of myself!
If you are interested in tuning in, it is on A.M. station 710 KNUS. There is a Listen Live button you can click on at the KNUS website.

Who are women going to vote for?

After I read the Chateau Heartiste piece on this being the Golden Age for Charismatic Jerkboys, I Googled all the latest polls for a breakdown of voters by gender. I wanted to see how many of Trump voters are women. None of the polls have that information. Yet, when the actual election takes place, we get that information immediately.

I went to the best number-crunching website, Five Thirty Eight. They did not have that information either, but they did have this:
Are single women showing up as likely voters? Single women have become a bedrock Democratic constituency, and if Clinton is the nominee, and if Planned Parenthood battles remain in the news, the percentage of single women in the electorate could rise above the difference-making threshold. In 2007, about 50 million single women were eligible to vote; by 2012, the figure was 55.2 million. Their rate of growth was much faster than the other three gender-marital groups. The problem: getting single women to vote is harder than it should be for Democrats, compared with the effort it takes to turn out other groups. The percentage of voting-eligible married women (and men) who cast ballots in general election years is consistently about 10 percentage points higher than the turnout for single women. If that gap narrows to about 5 percentage points by fall 2016, Democrats will have an edge to re-create a winning coalition in states such as North Carolina, Virginia and Florida.

I sent them an email asking how many of Trump supporters are women.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


As only he can, Chateau Heartiste writes that we are right now living in a Golden Age for "charismatic jerkboys" (Bill Clinton, anyone?).
It’s not a surprise that, among those nethers-deep in the American dating scene, there is a shared opinion that jerks do especially well with women. It’s neither a coincidence that this opinion has disseminated through the dank and vile with the same gusto that the overarching culture alternately chest thumps and whimpers its way toward a new norm of masculinized women and feminized men.

...Men, White men mostly, have become cringing, feminist boilerplate reciting, race cucked suck-ups to every group making a claim against their impudent White male privilege.

...the best way to understand women is first to accept the disconnect between their words and actions. When leaned-in careerist tankgrrls shriek against slut shaming, the patriarchy, and phalloaggressions, as sycophantic eunuchs scrape and bow before the clitdick juggernaut, these women are really projecting a mournful need for the ministrations of the very type of men they hold up as exemplars of chauvinist misogyny.

The weakness and effeminacy of the males around them is the very triggering (or one such triggering) that impels women to lash out at men in the aggregate; and, as is the wont of the supremely rationalizing sex, to lash out specifically at a fantasy simulacrum of the exciting, dangerous, sexually irresistible badboy who is regrettably missing from their alpha-parched lives.

The charismatic jerkboy will stand out as a sexual savior from among this melange of mewling manboobs. His product, so rare and valuable in a sexual market saturated with softies, will be sought after with a vengeance by economically self-sufficient and urban heat island-anonymized women intoxicated to apoonplexy from the merest whiff of unapologetic, sexually entitled alpha maleness.
Read more here.

You're fired! Go!

h/t Lucius Somesuch

She's a cutie

What political party is UAF? Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit has obtained court records indicating that the Planned Parenthood shooter identifies himself as UAF. Union of Anti-Fascists? Well, at least the media cannot say he's a Republican, which you know is what they are hoping for. Oh, and one more thing. She identifies herself as a woman. Now here is a hot babe!

Please be sensitive.

To trust the wolf with the sheep

Burak Bekdil writes at The Gatestone Institute,
Sadly, the free world feels compelled to partner with the wrong country in its fight against Islamic terror.

...The host of this year's G-20 summit, which came right after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, was Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In his usual Sunni supremacist language, he accused the victims of jihad rather than the jihadists. "New tragedies will be inevitable," he said, "if the rising racism in Europe and other countries is not stopped. Racism, coupled with enmity against Islam, is the greatest disaster, the greatest threat."

...Anyone under the impression that the whole world stands in solidarity with Paris should think again. Hundreds of Turkish fans booed and chanted "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is greater" in Arabic) during a moment of silence for the Paris attack victims before a Turkey-Greece soccer friendly. Once again, the Turks were exhibiting solidarity with the terrorists, not their "infidel" victims.

...More recently, on Nov. 21, Turkish police had to deploy 1,500 policemen so that Turkish fans could not harm the visiting Israeli women's national basketball team. One thousand five hundred police officers at a women's basketball game! Despite that, Turkish fans threw objects at Israeli players as they were singing Israel's national anthem. Fans also booed the Israeli players while others applauded the fans who threw the objects.

Unsurprisingly, Turkish fans waved Palestinian flags. Israeli women basketball players were barred from leaving their hotel other than for training and the game.

...How should Erdogan fight Islamic terror – something he does not believe exists? One of Erdogan's famous remarks is, "there is no Islamic terror." But he thinks that "just like fascism," Zionism is a crime against humanity.

Turkish President (then Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, meeting with Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal (center) and Ismail Haniyeh on June 18, 2013, in Ankara, Turkey. One of Erdogan's famous remarks is, "there is no Islamic terror." (Image source: Turkey Prime Minister's Press Office)

There is a Turkish saying that could perhaps describe the free world's alliance with Erdogan's Turkey against jihadist terror: "Kuzuyu kurda emanet etmek" ("to trust the wolf with the sheep").

Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Read more here.

Friday, November 27, 2015

"Thank you" is a limb worth going out on.

Thanksgiving is a good holiday because it reminds us of the thank yous we owe our Creator. It also is a time to think about the thank yous we owe to other humans who have enriched our lives. Seth Godin is glad that so many people are willing to go out on the limb and say thank you:
The vulnerability of 'thank you'

Thank you as in: I couldn't do it without you. As in: I don't want to do this alone. As in: I was afraid. And mostly: I would miss you if you were gone.

Thank you brings us closer together.

Thank you is a limb worth going out on.

Viewpoint diversity

Jonathan Haidt has a new blog entitled Heterodox Academy. He writes a post here about the victimhood culture infecting our schools. The problem doesn't start in our colleges; it begins in the middle school or perhaps the later elementary school levels in my opinion. Jonathan recently addressed students and faculties at an elite high school on the west coast:
I’ll call it Centerville High. I gave a version of a talk that you can see here, on Coddle U. vs. Strengthen U. (In an amazing coincidence, I first gave that talk at Yale a few weeks earlier). The entire student body — around 450 students, from grades 9-12 — were in the auditorium. There was plenty of laughter at all the right spots, and a lot of applause at the end, so I thought the talk was well received.

But then the discussion began, and it was the most unremittingly hostile questioning I’ve ever had. I don’t mind when people ask hard or critical questions, but I was surprised that I had misread the audience so thoroughly. My talk had little to do with gender, but the second question was “So you think rape is OK?” Like most of the questions, it was backed up by a sea of finger snaps — the sort you can hear in the infamous Yale video, where a student screams at Prof. Christakis to “be quiet” and tells him that he is “disgusting.” I had never heard the snapping before. When it happens in a large auditorium it is disconcerting. It makes you feel that you are facing an angry and unified mob — a feeling I have never had in 25 years of teaching and public speaking.

After the first dozen questions I noticed that not a single questioner was male. I began to search the sea of hands asking to be called on and I did find one boy, who asked a question that indicated that he too was critical of my talk. But other than him, the 200 or so boys in the audience sat silently.

After the Q&A, I got a half-standing ovation: almost all of the boys in the room stood up to cheer. And after the crowd broke up, a line of boys came up to me to thank me and shake my hand. Not a single girl came up to me afterward.

After my main lecture, the next session involved 60 students who had signed up for further discussion with me. We moved to a large classroom. The last thing I wanted to do was to continue the same fruitless arguing for another 75 minutes, so I decided to take control of the session and reframe the discussion. Here is what happened next:

Me: What kind of intellectual climate do you want here at Centerville? Would you rather have option A: a school where people with views you find offensive keep their mouths shut, or B: a school where everyone feels that they can speak up in class discussions?

Audience: All hands go up for B.

Me: OK, let’s see if you have that. When there is a class discussion about gender issues, do you feel free to speak up and say what you are thinking? Or do you feel that you are walking on eggshells and you must heavily censor yourself? Just the girls in the class, raise your hand if you feel you can speak up? [about 70% said they feel free, vs about 10% who said eggshells ]. Now just the boys? [about 80% said eggshells, nobody said they feel free].

Me: Now let’s try it for race. When a topic related to race comes up in class, do you feel free to speak up and say what you are thinking, or do you feel that you are walking on eggshells and you must heavily censor yourself? Just the non-white students? [the group was around 30% non-white, mostly South and East Asians, and some African Americans. A majority said they felt free to speak, although a large minority said eggshells] Now just the white students? [A large majority said eggshells]

Me: Now lets try it for politics. How many of you would say you are on the right politically, or that you are conservative or Republican? [6 hands went up, out of 60 students]. Just you folks, when politically charged topics come up, can you speak freely? [Only one hand went up, but that student clarified that everyone gets mad at him when he speaks up, but he does it anyway. The other 5 said eggshells.] How many of you are on the left, liberal, or democrat? [Most hands go up] Can you speak freely, or is it eggshells? [Almost all said they can speak freely.]

Me: So let me get this straight. You were unanimous in saying that you want your school to be a place where people feel free to speak up, even if you strongly dislike their views. But you don’t have such a school. In fact, you have exactly the sort of “tolerance” that Herbert Marcuse advocated [which I had discussed in my lecture, and which you can read about here]. You have a school in which only people in the preferred groups get to speak, and everyone else is afraid. What are you going to do about this? Let’s talk.

After that, the conversation was extremely civil and constructive. The boys took part just as much as the girls. We talked about what Centerville could do to improve its climate, and I said that the most important single step would be to make viewpoint diversity a priority. On the entire faculty, there was not a single teacher that was known to be conservative or Republican. So if these teenagers are coming into political consciousness inside of a “moral matrix” that is uniformly leftist, there will always be anger directed at those who disrupt that consensus.

That night, after I gave a different talk to an adult audience, there was a reception at which I spoke with some of the parents. Several came up to me to tell me that their sons had told them about the day’s events. The boys finally had a way to express and explain their feelings of discouragement. Their parents were angry to learn about how their sons were being treated and… there’s no other word for it, bullied into submission by the girls.*

And Centerville High is not alone. Last summer I had a conversation with some boys who attend one of the nation’s top prep schools, in New England. They reported the same thing: as white males, they are constantly on eggshells, afraid to speak up on any remotely controversial topic lest they be sent to the “equality police” (that was their term for the multicultural center). I probed to see if their fear extended beyond the classroom. I asked them what they would do if there was a new student at their school, from, say Yemen. Would they feel free to ask the student questions about his or her country? No, they said, it’s too risky, a question could be perceived as offensive.

You might think that this is some sort of justice — white males have enjoyed positions of privilege for centuries, and now they are getting a taste of their own medicine. But these are children. And remember that most students who are in a victim group for one topic are in the “oppressor” group for another. So everyone is on eggshells sometimes; all students at Centerville High learn to engage with books, ideas, and people using the twin habits of defensive self-censorship and vindictive protectiveness.

And then… they go off to college and learn new ways to gain status by expressing collective anger at those who disagree. They curse professors and spit on visiting speakers at Yale. They shut down newspapers at Wesleyan. They torment a dean who was trying to help them at Claremont McKenna. They threaten and torment fellow students at Dartmouth. And in all cases, they demand that adults in power DO SOMETHING to punish those whose words and views offend them. Their high schools have thoroughly socialized them into what sociologists call victimhood culture, which weakens students by turning them into “moral dependents” who cannot deal with problems on their own. They must get adult authorities to validate their victim status.

So they issue ultimatums to college presidents, and, as we saw at Yale, the college presidents meet their deadlines, give them much of what they demanded, commit their schools to an ever tighter embrace of victimhood culture, and say nothing to criticize the bullying, threats, and intimidation tactics that have created a culture of intense fear for anyone who might even consider questioning the prevailing moral matrix. What do you suppose a conversation about race or gender will look like in any Yale classroom ten years from now? Who will dare to challenge the orthodox narrative imposed by victimhood culture? The “Next Yale” that activists are demanding will make today’s Centerville High look like Plato’s Academy by comparison.

The only hope for Centerville High — and for Yale — is to disrupt their repressively uniform moral matrices to make room for dissenting views. High schools and colleges that lack viewpoint diversity should make it their top priority. Race and gender diversity matter too, but if those goals are pursued in the ways that student activists are currently demanding, then political orthodoxy is likely to intensify. Schools that value freedom of thought should therefore actively seek out non-leftist faculty, and they should explicitly include viewpoint diversity and political diversity in all statements about diversity and discrimination.** Parents and students who value freedom of thought should take viewpoint diversity into account when applying to colleges. Alumni should take it into account before writing any more checks.

The Yale problem refers to an unfortunate feedback loop: Once you allow victimhood culture to spread on your campus, you can expect ever more anger from students representing victim groups, coupled with demands for a deeper institutional commitment to victimhood culture, which leads inexorably to more anger, more demands, and more commitment. But the Yale problem didn’t start at Yale. It started in high school. As long as many of our elite prep schools are turning out students who have only known eggshells and anger, whose social cognition is limited to a single dimension of victims and victimizers, and who demand safe spaces and trigger warnings, it’s hard to imagine how any university can open students’ minds and prepare them to converse respectfully with people who don’t share their values. Especially when there are no adults around who don’t share their values.

Never give an ape an AK 47!

I wear the mask and pretend I am far, far away, with maybe the Ryan Gosling

The Planned Parenthood shooter has surrendered in Colorado Springs

Stephen Hobbs reports for the Colorado Springs Gazette tonight that a gunman has been detained outside a Planned Parenthood building there. Two fatalities have been reported, one of whom was a law enforcement officer.

Update: Three are confirmed dead: two civilians, and one law enforcement officer. Four civilians and five officers were transported to hospitals with gunshot wounds. All are in good condition. A University of Colorado at Colorado Springs police officer, Garrett Swasey, 44, responded in support of Colorado Springs Police to the active shooter sitation at about 11:50 a.m. Friday. He was killed in the line of duty.

Update:Here is the first photo of the suspect being escorted by police into the frigid cold, snowy Colorado evening.

(Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Feeling like you overdid it on pumpkin pie?

Are you feeling stuffed tonight? It might make you feel better to know that you did not eat this pie that
In 2010, the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers worked feverishly at a pumpkin festival in New Bremen, Ohio to assemble and bake a pumpkin pie that Guinness World Records certified as the largest in the world. This magnificent dessert weighed 3,699 pounds and measured 20 feet across.

(Photo: New Bremen Pumpkinfest)
Thanks to Neatorama,

Brain dead? Don't worry.

Wesley J. Smith writes in National Review,
Ah, the transhumanists. They mostly don’t believe in anything beyond the nakedly material, but like those who are theistically minded, they hope to live forever.

So, rather than prayer or repentance, they turn to technology.

A company called Humai Tech is seeking to exploit that potentially huge market by seeking to create technology to resurrect you – in robot form – after death.
Read more here.

There’s no harvest without a storm.

Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience today offers this quote from Karl Barth,
“Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth.

Grace evokes gratitude like the voice an echo.

Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightening.” ~Barth

Farmer Ann adds,
There’s no harvest without a storm.
Gratitude follows grace — as thunder follows lightening. And the storm is grace because whatever drives us into God, is a grace from God.

God gives grace and ours is to give thanks and in the midst of full days, this is God’s unconditional demand: That we live thankful.

...there’s grace that comes as storms and the only answer to God’s unending grace — is man’s unending gratitude.
the only answer to God’s unending grace — is man’s unending gratitude.
When you live in a covenant of grace, you can’t help but live out a covenant of gratitude.
Read more and view Ann's photos here.

Where is JFK's brain?

Stop laughing! The Globe has a story that asserts that JFK's brain is missing from a secret F.B.I. vault, where it was preserved as part of the autopsy to determine where the bullet(s) came from that caused his death in Dallas fifty years ago. A mob hitman currently in prison in Illinois claims that he fired the bullet from the grassy knoll, and another mob hitman was in the Texas Book Depository. To begin your research on the subject, read the Globe at your local supermarket.

They will get even

A Turkmen soldier with a machine gun is seen as taking aim in the Bayirbucak region in northern Latakia province of Syria Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

About that Russian plane shot down by Turks, David Goldman writes,
The Russian Su-24 probably was attacking Ankara-backed Turkmen militia in northern Syria, notes the Telegraph. That helps explain why the Turks wanted to shoot it down. Now a lot of Russian-language media suggest that Russia will back an independent Kurdish state (which Turkey is hard put to stop). There will be no DIRECT retaliation, just a proxy war where the demographics are on the Kurdish side.

This is not a day care. This is a university!

Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University wrote,
This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love! In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic! Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”

I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience! An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad! It is supposed to make you feel guilty! The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization!

So here’s my advice:

If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.

If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.

Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up!

This is not a day care. This is a university!

h/t Tammy Bruce

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Getting serious

h/t Mostly Cajun

Not who we are

h/t/ Mostly Cajun

Coming to America

Nina Lakhani reports at The Guardian that people from all over the globe
follow the well-trodden routes used by Latin Americans to reach the United States.

Over the past decade Colombia has become a major hub for non-Latin American migrants headed toward the United States because of its strategic position and abundance of criminal trafficking networks.

One US Immigration and Customs Enforcement official in Colombia called the smuggling organizations along the route a “federation of independent operators” who hand groups of migrants off to each other, each charging for one leg of the journey.

The voyage from Asia or Africa to the US via these routes can cost as much as $12,000, Colombian investigators have found.

...Most often, smugglers tell migrants that if they are caught they should request refugee status. Once asylum is requested, authorities grant them a safe conduct pass for five days to present their case to the foreign ministry. Most never show. They use the reprieve to continue their journey northward.

...The number of migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa pale in comparison to Cubans who have chosen to take the land route to the United States rather than the traditional sea journey toward the Florida coast. The number of Cubans entering the US has surged since President Obama announced a renewal of diplomatic ties with the Caribbean country last December following more than 50 years as cold war enemies.

This recent exodus is promoted by fears that the so-called wet-foot, dry-foot policy – which fast-tracks legal residency for undocumented Cubans in the US as long as they arrive by air or overland – could soon come to an end.
Read more here.

Will they lose?

Have you noticed what has been happening in Oakland? The Golden State Warriors have become the first NBA team to start a season with 16 straight wins. Read more here.

Four-hour old baby left in church nativity scene

four-hour old baby with his umbilical cord still attached was found alive in a New York church’s nativity scene. Police say they have video of a woman entering the church with a baby and leaving without one. Thankfully, the baby is in good condition. (Yanan Wang)

h/t The Daily 202

Is the end of daily injections in sight?

Good news for people suffering from Type 1 Diabetes. Sarah Knapton writes at The Telegraph,
The end of daily injections for diabetes sufferers could be in sight after scientists showed it is possible to restore insulin production for up to a year by boosting the immune system.

The disease attacks insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. Healthy people have billions of ‘peacekeeping’ cells called ‘T-regs’ which protect insulin-making cells from the immune system but people suffering Type 1 diabetes do not have enough.

Now researchers at the University of California and Yale have shown that the ‘T-regs’ can be removed from the body, increased by 1,500x in the laboratory and infused back into the bloodstream to restore normal function.
Read more here.

h/t Glenn Reynolds

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Vigilance high for Thanksgiving travel week

Are we already in World War III?

Mass produced cultured meat

How cultured chicken would be produced. Image courtesy of Modern Agriculture Foundation

Abigail Klein Leichman writes in ISRAEL 21c,
An Israeli foundation is first in the world to research mass production of cultured chicken breast, a real meat product starting from a single cell of a real bird.

Modern Agriculture Foundation cofounder Shir Friedman in Holland. Photo via Facebook

“Today, the meat, dairy and egg industries are among the major contributors to climate change. They consume huge amounts of valuable resources such as energy and fresh water, contribute to the outbreak of pandemics such as swine flu and are the cause of deaths of billions of animals every year,” Friedman tells her audiences.

About half the earth’s land area is taken up by livestock and the crops that feed them, she reveals. A third of our freshwater is used for livestock and their food, and half the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from cattle headed to slaughter.

Cultured meat production would require between seven and 45 percent less energy, 90% less fresh water and 99% less land, and would result in 80 to 90% less greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere.

“If 2.5 billion people join us in eating only cultured meat by 2050, we get all those resources back. It’s truly a magic solution,” Friedman tells ISRAEL21c.

One of the MAF’s biggest challenges is to convince people that cultured meat is not “Frankenfood” and involves no genetic engineering. It is not a meat substitute, but 100% meat. When produced on a mass scale, cultured meat won’t be made in a lab but in a factory just like any other processed food from ketchup to cornflakes.

Cultured meat production begins by incubating stem cells in a nutrient-rich medium that helps the cells grow and divide. Scaffolds and other technological aids help the cells form a thin layer of muscle tissue, a.k.a. meat.

“We are simply letting biology do its thing, letting cells create the muscle tissue they know how to create. The meat will be identical in taste and flavor and ingredients to meat from an animal — if anything, healthier because we can control the amount of cholesterol and fat,” says Friedman. “It will be a very sustainable way to feed the planet.”
Read more here.

You can’t get to the point right away, everyone wants a little dance first.

Not all of us are born salespeople. Oded Golan writes in Medium about what he learned sitting next to a pro salesman.

Passivity is no protection from landing ass backwards in a quagmire

Richard Fernandez writes at PJ Media,
The administration's greatest weakness was failing to realize that inaction was also policy. Not doing something could also be "stupid shit" and passivity was no protection from landing ass backwards in a quagmire.

Robert Kagan adds in the Wall Street Journal,
...The multisided war in the Middle East has now ceased to be a strictly Middle Eastern problem. It has become a European problem as well. ... The spillover of the Middle East crisis into this weakened Europe threatens to undermine the continent’s cohesion and sap the strength of trans-Atlantic ties. ...

There is a Russian angle, too. Many of these parties, and even some mainstream political movements across the continent, are funded by Russia and make little secret of their affinity for Moscow. ...

Where does the U.S. fit into all this? The Europeans no longer know, any more than American allies in the Middle East do....

The president has also been inclined to reject options that don’t promise to “solve” the problems of Syria, Iraq and the Middle East. He doesn’t want to send troops only to put “a lid on things.”

In this respect, he is entranced, like most Americans, by the image of the decisive engagement followed by the victorious return home. But that happy picture is a myth. Even after the iconic American victory in World War II, the U.S. didn’t come home. Keeping a lid on things is exactly what the U.S. has done these past 70 years. That is how the U.S. created this liberal world order.
Read more here.

Fernandez concludes,
The most lasting contribution of Barack Obama to history may be to retire the phrase "Vietnam syndrome" from the lexicon and replace it with a single new word: in future years to completely tie yourself in knots will be to "Obama" something. It's a genuine claim to fame though perhaps not quite the immortality the administration hoped it would be remembered for.
Read more here.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lipstick for men

First we got skinny jeans. Now it's lipstick for men?

You can get yours for 52 dollars on Black Friday.
Read more here.

University shuts down free yoga classes

From the daily

A free yoga class has been suspended after student leaders at a Canadian university are concerned the practice of it could be seen as 'cultural appropriation'.

Jennifer Scharf, who has been offering the weekly yoga class at the University of Ottawa campus for seven years, said she was notified in September that the program was being ended.

She told the Ottawa Sun that the complaint that caused the program to come to an end came from a 'social justice warrior' with 'fainting heart ideologies' in search of a controversial issue that would attract public attention.

Scharf claimed people are just searching for a reason to be offended by anything they can find, according to the website.

'There's a real divide between reasonable people and those people just looking to jump on a bandwagon,' she said.

'And unfortunately, it ends up with good people getting punished for doing good things.'
Read more here.

Do you know what you'll be eating Thursday?

Modern Farmer brings us six oddball facts about turkeys.

People have been eating them for a while now.
Researchers discovered the earliest-known instance of turkey domestication in a Mayan archaeological site in Guatemala, many miles from turkeys’ native habitat in Mexico. The turkey bones—presumably from a ceremony, sacrifice, or feast—were more than 2,000 years old.

All turkey species originated in Mexico.
Which is a surprise, since Chipotle doesn’t even offer a turkey burrito.

You won’t find their eggs in a store.
Have you ever seen turkey eggs at Trader Joe’s? Probably not. They lay significantly fewer eggs per year than chickens do. “Turkey eggs are very valuable,” said Nick Zimmerman, an associate professor of animal/avian sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park, in an interview with Discovery News. “They have a higher value for making new baby poults, so we can grow them up into nice large turkeys and make meat for people.” Zimmerman estimates the market price of one turkey egg at $3.50, more than twelve times that of a chicken egg.

They change color.
Well, the heads and necks of males do. Naturally a grayish blue, their skin can turn a deep red-purple when they’re feeling feisty (think mating/fighting). “When they’re breeding or when they’re aggressive, more blood goes into their head—it’s sort of like people who get flushed when really excited or mad,” says retired ornithologist (a person who studies birds) and author Roger Lederer. “During breeding season, their heads could be red all week!”

The name turkey happened because someone didn’t know their birds too well.
It’s theorized that Europeans originally misidentified the gobblers as guinea fowl, which they believed hailed from the country Turkey. (They’re not. They’re from Guinea in Western Africa, but that’s another mistake altogether.) Turkey and guinea fowl are not the same thing, but that doesn’t mean anyone bothered to change the name to something correct, like “Mexico.” Example:

Bob: How much Mexico did you eat on Thanksgiving this year?
Jane: Dude, so much Mexico. Like eight slices of Mexico with stuffing. I gotta learn some self-control.

Facial boners are a thing.
A floppy, fleshy piece of skin above the beak called the snood gets engorged with blood as an ornamental way of attracting females. Research shows that female turkeys are most attracted to larger snoods, and that if you’re going to be a male turkey, it’s best to be the one with the biggest snood of the bunch: Not only does it help you get the girl, but other males avoid fighting with and defer to you.

Will this be the next scandal? Kicking the can down the road

Catherine Herridge at Fox News reports,
Analysts at U.S. Central Command were pressured to ease off negative assessments about the Islamic State threat and were even told in an email to “cut it out,” Fox News has learned – as an investigation expands into whether intelligence reports were altered to present a more positive picture.

...Those emails, among others, are now in the possession of the Pentagon inspector general. The IG’s probe is expanding into whether intelligence assessments were changed to give a more positive picture of the anti-ISIS campaign.

Similar intelligence was included in the President’s Daily Brief, or PDB – the intelligence community’s most authoritative product -- during the same time period. Yet the official, who was part of the White House discussions, said the administration kept "kicking the can down the road." The official said there was no discussion of the military involvement needed to make a difference.

...The president’s call for a thorough investigation was greeted with cynicism by those involved in the 2014 intelligence assessments, since the administration did not act on the earlier raw intelligence that painted a dire picture of developments, especially in Iraq.

How many so far?

h/t Mike's America

Conveyor belts of talking points

Michelle Obama's Mirror writes,
How many facts would a fact checker check if a fact checker would check facts?

That’s a rhetorical question of course, as we all know that early 21st century “fact checkers” are nothing more than conveyor belts of talking points set up to further advance the narrative.

John Hindracker documents a day in the life of Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler (here) who dismissed The Donald’s statement that on 9/11, “thousands and thousands” of American Muslims in Jersey City celebrated the successful terrorist attacks.

Fact Checker Kessler calls the claim “outrageous” and wrote: Trump says that he saw this with his own eyes on television and that it was well covered. But an extensive examination of news clips from that period turns up nothing. There were some reports of celebrations overseas, in Muslim countries, but nothing that we can find involving the Arab populations of New Jersey.

Only problem, Kessler’s own newspaper, the Washington Post, reported the following on September 18, 2001:

In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.

Which demonstrates that the WaPo fact checker - and bestower of Pinocchios on those he finds to be liars - is not so much a “fact checker” as he is a fact trekker: going where no man has gone before to prove that lies are true and truths are lies. Because how else do you explain a “fact checker” who claimed that “Hillary didn’t lie about Benghazi but Carly Fiorina lied when she said she started out as a secretary when in fact she started out as a secretary.”

Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Exercise caution at soft target sites such as restaurants and theaters"

From Michelle Obama's Mirror:
Meanwhile, ISIS says they’re coming for America next. And we are told to “exercise caution at soft target sites such as restaurants and theatres.” And how, exactly, do they expect us to do that in cities like New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago where guns are banned?

"Don't shoot! I've got a knife and fork!"


h/t Michelle Obama's Mirror

Did you know Tony Rezko is out of jail?

From the blog Michelle Obama's Mirror:
Oh, and by the way, did you know that one of Barry’s early Chicago benefactors, Tony Rezko, got out of jail earlier this year (felony charge, nothing serious). From the Chicago Tribune:
Rezko was sentenced to 10 1/2 years for extorting millions of dollars from firms seeking state business or regulatory approval while he was a top fundraiser and adviser to then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

And I just remembered, he’s Syrian! Isn’t that a coincidence?

Anyway, don’t worry, we are in the best of hands.

Nothing to worry about

Trump will not be afraid to do what is necessary to win this war we are in

Roger L. Simon writes at PJ Media,
as the events of the last few days have underscored, if we were too stupid not to know it -- we're at war. And in war, you don't look to, say, Bernie Sanders to lead you. You look to George S. Patton. You're not interested in nuance á la John Kerry, pathological dishonesty á la Hillary Clinton, or a president whose sympathy might really be for the other side. You want a real commander in chief, a fearless leader -- you want.... Donald? Well, yes, Donald. He may have to do. He won't be afraid to do what's necessary.

...The truth is PC doesn't hack it in war. PC is a rich liberal's plaything, a luxury item. It works best as a subject for ridicule on South Park. And it's not the way we really think. It's the way we pretend we think. So just who is it that is blowing innocent people to smithereens in Paris, Beirut, Sharm, and Mali, and who knows where else next? Zen Buddhist monks? The Little Sisters of the Poor?

Everybody knows who it is. Islam has a big problem and although people want to be polite or deliberately lie about it to look "good" to their neighbors or to their cousins at the Thanksgiving table, when they get into a voting booth, many of them are guiltily going to be pulling the lever for someone with the you-know-what to put an end to this global homicidal insanity -- and it's not going to be John Kasich or Rand Paul or Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. It's going to be Donald Trump. And if not Donald, possibly Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz, both of whom seem to be able to find Raqqa on a map. And none of these people are racists, not even faintly, no matter what some NBC reporter wants to imply.
Read more here.

Euphemisms for appeasement

Daniel Greenfield writes at Sultan Knish,
Obama doesn’t win wars. He lies about them.

The botched campaign against ISIS is a replay of the disaster in Afghanistan complete with ridiculous rules of engagement, blatant administration lies and no plan for victory. But there can’t be a plan for victory because when Obama gets past the buzzwords, he begins talking about addressing root causes.

And you don’t win wars by addressing root causes. That’s just a euphemism for appeasement.

Addressing root causes means blaming Islamic terrorism on everything from colonialism to global warming. It doesn’t mean defeating it, but finding new ways to blame it on the West.

Obama and his political allies believe that crime can’t be fought with cops and wars can’t be won with soldiers. The only answer lies in addressing the root causes which, after all the prattling about climate change and colonialism, really come down to the Marxist explanation of inequality.

...Obama knows that Americans won’t accept “war just doesn’t work” as an answer to Islamic terrorism. So he demonstrates to them that wars don’t work by fighting wars that are meant to fail.

In Afghanistan, he bled American soldiers as hard as possible with vicious rules of engagement that favored the Taliban to destroy support for a war that most of the country had formerly backed. By blowing the war, Obama was not only sabotaging the specific implementation of a policy he opposed, but the general idea behind it. His failed wars are meant to teach Americans that war doesn’t work.

The unspoken idea that informs his strategy is that American power is the root cause of the problems in the region. Destroying ISIS would solve nothing. Containing American power is the real answer.

Obama does not have a strategy for defeating ISIS. He has a strategy for defeating America.

...Obama responded to ISIS by denying it’s a threat. Once that stopped being a viable strategy, he began to stall for time. And he’s still stalling for time, not to beat ISIS, but to wait until ISIS falls out of the headlines. That has been his approach to all his scandals from ObamaCare to the IRS to the VA.

Lie like crazy and wait for people to forget about it and turn their attention to something else.

This is a containment strategy, but not for ISIS. It’s a containment strategy for America. Obama isn’t trying to bottle up ISIS except as a means of bottling up America. He doesn’t see the Caliph of the Islamic State as the real threat, but the average American who watches the latest beheading on the news and wonders why his government doesn’t do something about it. To the left it isn’t the Caliph of ISIS who starts the wars we ought to worry about, but Joe in Tennessee, Bill in California or Pete in Minnesota.

That is why Obama sounds bored when talking about beating ISIS, but heats up when the conversation turns to fighting Republicans. It’s why Hillary Clinton named Republicans, not ISIS, as her enemy.

The left is not interested in making war on ISIS. It is too busy making war on America.
Read more here.

War on Women: We had a rapist in the White House

Breitbart has a story and a NBC News video of Juanita Broaddrick.

"Did you think his interest in you at the time was personal or professional?"
"I thought it was professional...completely."

"Did you have any qualms at all about him coming to the room?"
"I was a little bit uneasy, but I felt a...I felt a real friendship toward this man, and I didn't feel any...any,um, danger in him coming to my room. And I sort of ushered us over to the coffee. I had coffee sitting on a table over by the window. It was a real pretty view looking down at the river. He came around me, and sort of put his arm over my shoulder to point to this little building, and said that he was real interested if he became governor to restore that building...and then all of a sudden he turned me around and started kissing me...and that was a real shock."

"What did you do?"
"Uh, I first pushed him away, and just told him no, please don't do that. He said something like, Did you not know why I was coming up here? I said I'm married, and I have other things going on in my life."

"Had you that morning or at any other time given him any reason to believe that might happen?"
"No, none whatsoever."

"Then what happened?"
"He started kissing me again, and the second time he tries to kiss me, he starts biting on my lip." At this point Juanita covers her face and starts to cry.

Watch the full NBC interview:

The streets of Greensboro, North Carolina are safer today

Jazz Shaw reports at Hot Air about a turn-in-your-guns event in Greensboro, North Carolina in which over one thousand people signed a pledge of non-violence. One slight problem. In the two photos below, you can see the total number of weapons turned in.

A knife and a BB gun.

Read more here.

"Thank you Planned Parenthood"

Doug Powers brings us the news that Planned Parenthood has announced that it plans to spend $20,000,000 trying to defeat Republican Senatorial candidates in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nevada and Wisconsin in 2016.
That’s just the latest argument for cutting off Planned Parenthood’s public funding — if they want to help Democrats let ’em skip a couple of Lamborghini payments and do it on their own dime. PP should instead be considered a Dem Super-PAC that performs abortions and dabbles in the baby parts market while supporting Democrats who accuse Republicans of hating children.
Read more here.

Institutions of higher moaning

Michelle Malkin tells us there is a new website called, which Michelle prefers to call
the Social Justice Warrior Entitlement Mob Tracker. It’s a useful database of progressive brats who are part of a clearly coordinated “Black Lives Matter” hijacking of American colleges and universities (with a few Canadian groupies tagging along). Whatever legitimate complaints these privileged — yes, you are privileged to be attending college in America in the 21st century — students may have had, they’ve utterly beclowned themselves with their over-the-top hysterics.

...At Amherst College, the “uprisers” are pressuring the president to make — take a deep breath — a “statement of apology to students, alumni and former students, faculty, administration and staff who have been victims of several injustices including but not limited to our institutional legacy of white supremacy, colonialism, anti-black racism, anti-Latinx racism, anti-Native American racism, anti-Native/ indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Middle Eastern racism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma, and classism.”

Alas, there’s no safe space from coddled, overly verbose narcissists.
Read more here.

Self-destructive Hubris

Tunku Varadarajan writes at Indian Express
the world faces a monumentally greater threat today from the adherents of Islam than it does from the followers of any other religion — or from any cult of any kind, barring, perhaps, the Cult of Kim in North Korea; and even that lot doesn’t send footsoldiers into our cities to murder us as we eat and breathe and love each other.

...It hardly needs stating, also, that the Islamist terrorists are as brutal to those Muslims who aren’t of a hardline Salafi creed as they are to non-Muslim infidels. Turn your gaze to neighbouring Pakistan or Afghanistan, or Nigeria or Mali, or the territory under the control of the Islamic State, and you will see a running horror-show of slaughter, each episode more disgusting and stomach-churning than the last.

The West — Europe, in particular —is in a terrifying bind, for it has living in its midst substantial populations of Muslims, the majority of whom are poorly integrated into Western society. And by integration I don’t simply mean a case of Abdul or Cherif or Aicha getting up every morning to go to work with other citizens of Belgium or France or Denmark, but an embracing of the civic and social and constitutional values of these countries — what might, by useful shorthand, be called the Western “way of life”.

To the extent that we have the full facts, we know that every single perpetrator of the carnage in Paris was home-grown. That is a chilling fact (and phrase), conjuring visions of a venom that eats away at the body-politic, with echoes of a cancer in the human body. The fault, I fear, is that of Europe’s elites. For decades, they ignored — and even actively worked against — integration, scorning it as unfashionable, old-fangled, and, worst of all, racist. Is Our Way, they asked, with impressively self-destructive hubris, really better than Their Way?

That question now has an answer. It’s an answer the West must live and, increasingly, die with.
Read more here.

Denying words their meaning

Rex Murphy writes in the National Post,
It’s an odd world. Glamour magazine recently named the former Bruce Jenner as its Woman of the Year. In all respectable circles, she is of course now recognized as Caitlyn Jenner, after coming out as a woman. In this context, coming out is simply to be understood as an act of self-declaration. If a person self-identifies as X, Y or Z, then he, she, ze or hir has to be what he, she, ze or hir professes to be. If it’s a nightmare for grammarians, just think of the chaos in biology departments.

Upon hearing of the award to Jenner, Germaine Greer uttered these words,
“I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat but that won’t turn me into a fucking cocker spaniel,” she said.
Read more here.

Happiness is an inside job

Read what Dr. Joy Bliss has to say on the subject here.

No First Amendment rights in this place

"The Italian constitution guarantees the right to information and expression but the Vatican is a state with no right to information,"
Read more here.

No surrender!

A Frenchman lost his beautiful wife whose body was riddled with ISIS bullets. His little son lost his beautiful mother.

Chateau Heartiste has a warning for this man:
Dear beta males afraid to hate,

CH has a message for you that I hope will stir as many hearts as your message has lulled to sleep:

There is no virtue in denying your hatred of those that would kill you and yours.

...Hate is the yang to love’s yin. Your refusal to allow a healthy hate to course through you, and enliven your spirit to action, is surrender. It is retreat from a vital emotion that, when welcomed as circumstances require, will motivate a man to protect his family, his friends, his countrymen.

Maybe that’s the cause of your descent into hollow calls for impassive stoicism in the face of grave threat from outsiders.

...If all you have is desolate ego validation from faceless, deracinated defeatists on social media, then it follows naturally to throw the memory of your pretty wife under the bus for the reward of the one thing that matters anymore in your shattering world… your grandiloquent moral rectitude.

...Refusing to hate murderous aliens in your midst who laugh at your haughty self-righteousness as they draw the knife across your throat is not noble

not heroic

not admirable

not morally superior.

It is the payment of meekness for comfort. Of weak-minded shibboleth for solace. Of saccharine platitude for avoidance of conflict.
Read more here.


Mike Flynn writes at Breitbart,
A Super PAC tied to Ohio Governor John Kasich is annnouncing a new multi-million dollar effort to torpedo Donald Trump’s campaign for the Republican nomination.

Trump’s continued dominance of national and state-level polling has vexed the GOP establishment and pushed it to near-panic as voting nears.

A recent survey of public attitudes by Reuters/Ispos, though, suggests caution for the GOP establishment.

...According to the Reuters survey, 58 percent Americans say they “don’t identify with what America has become.” While Republicans and Independents are the most likely to agree with this statement, even 45 percent of Democrats share this feeling.

More than half of Americans, 53 percent, say they “feel like a stranger” in their own country.

...The reasons for their alienation are both cultural and economic. The economic anxiety sparked by the financial crisis in 2007-8 has likely pushed them further away from the mainstream political parties. This isn’t solely a phenomenon on the right, as the resurgent popularity of explicitly socialist policies on the left attest.

...Its zeal to derail his campaign carries huge risks for the party, however. The Trump phenomenon is not simply the product of a media-savvy, hyper-personality candidate. It is drawing strength from very real sentiments of a huge block of voters. The Republican party may take out Trump, but it alienates these voters at its peril.
Read more here.

Is China Heading to a 1930s-Style Crash?

That is the question looked at in this post at Gatestone Institute by Gordon G. Chang.
Since coming to power as China's leader, Xi has been reversing Deng Xiaoping's policy of "reform and opening up." He has, for instance, been closing off the Chinese market to foreigners, recombining already large state enterprises back into formal monopolies, increasing state ownership of enterprises, and shoveling more state subsidies to favored market participants.

Xi has also strangled his country's financial markets in order to keep share prices high and currency values elevated. For example, this summer his government restricted stock-index futures because it considered these derivatives a source of downward pressure on stock prices, but the restrictions killed activity. China's stock-index futures market, the world's largest in mid-June when the slide began, was devastated, with transactions down 99% by September.

Even when Beijing has summoned the gumption to announce reforms, there has been more show than substance. For instance, late last month the People's Bank of China, the central bank, announced it was eliminating the caps on deposit rates, but officials are now informally dictating to commercial banks the deposit rates they may offer.

Let us not be surprised by the end of liberalization in China. Xi Jinping's signature initiative, encapsulated by the phrase "Chinese dream," contemplates a strong state, and a strong state does not sit easy with the notion of market-oriented reform. Unfortunately for Xi, also the Communist Party's general secretary, there are no solutions that are possible within the political framework he will not change.
Read more here.

ISIS wannabees are staying home in America to kill Americans

FBI Director James Comey Photo: AP

Paul Sperry writes in the New York Post,
President Obama boasts he’s “made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters” traveling from America to Iraq and Syria. He cites this as a key success in his much-maligned Islamic State strategy.

While it’s true fewer American Muslims are joining ISIS abroad, hold the applause. More are staying at home and plotting terrorist attacks here.

Since July, the FBI has seen just a half-dozen US travelers trying to reach ISIS’ caliphate, a trickle compared with the dozens the agency was detecting in the preceding months. All told, more than 250 Americans have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIS.

At the same time, investigators have seen a spike in the number of homegrown ISIS cases.

FBI Director James Comey recently warned that his caseload of ISIS suspects has exploded to more than 900 in all 50 states, with hotspots in the New York-New Jersey area, as well as Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Minneapolis.

These are active, open investigations and don’t include the 66 Muslim men and women around the country the bureau has already charged with alleged ISIS activities over the past two years.

The huge caseload is overwhelming the FBI’s capacity to conduct surveillance and disrupt terrorist plots. Making matters worse, ISIS suspects in the United States are switching to mobile and gaming apps with encryption that thwarts the FBI’s ability to monitor their communications. If suspects have gone “dark,” agents may not be able to track their plans.

...One part of the change is ISIL urging people not to travel but to stay and kill where you are,” Comey said, cautioning, “We’re not sure exactly what’s going on.”

Federal agents have apprehended almost 30 American Muslims in recent months before they departed for the Middle East.

That, in turn, has convinced many ISIS recruits it’s no longer worth the risk.

Take Terrence J. McNeil, a Muslim convert from Akron, Ohio, who wanted to travel to Syria to join ISIS, but feared arrest at the airport. He decided to stay home instead and allegedly helped the terrorist group carry out attacks inside America.

“I hate living in Dar-ul Kufr,” or land of the infidel, McNeil said earlier this year on a Tumblr account, according to court records. “I want to make hijra [voyage] to be with the true believers.”

However, he said if he tried to go “to Iraq or Syria,” he would “probably get arrested before I step foot on the plane.”

Agents collared McNeil last week for helping ISIS by allegedly distributing a file containing the names and addresses of more than 100 US service members, along with the command: “Kill them in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking that they are safe.”

Wouldn’t it be better to let such homicidal monsters leave the country and die as “martyrs” in the Middle East, where they have less chance of killing Americans? Blocking their hijra appears only to close off a relief valve for homegrown terrorism.

Of course, there’s a risk in letting them go overseas: Many could return with military training, though that’s become less critical with each publication of Dabiq, the ISIS Webzine that shows jihadists how to make their own bombs in their kitchens.

Still, around 40 American ISIS travelers already have returned from Iraq and Syria, with five arrested and the other 35 being tracked by the FBI. Investigators hope their surveillance will tip them off to terrorist plots in the pipeline, as well as lead them to bigger fish in the terrorist chain.

Monitoring returning fighters doesn’t always help disrupt plots, however. Just ask the French.

On Aug. 11, French police were tipped off to an ISIS plot to attack a Paris “concert hall” and cause mass casualties by a French Muslim they questioned upon his return from Syria. The ISIS recruit, Reda Hame, revealed the plot was personally ordered by ISIS leader Abdelhamid Abaaoud. This is the same Abaaoud who police now say masterminded the Nov. 13 Bataclan concert hall massacre.

All pose and attitude

Mark Steyn pours his heart into this post:
Our world seems atrophied. Kathy Shaidle describes the scene in the photo above as "why Paris is doomed, in one image": a man drags his piano, decorated by a "peace" symbol, by bicycle to the Bataclan theatre, and proceeds to play John Lennon's "Imagine".

What kind of parochial solipsist would think that an appropriate response a day after mass murder?

Answer: Apparently everyone in the western world, because, of course, it "went viral".

It is somewhat reassuring that most of those standing around him are media hacks desperate for something to photograph. One would like to think that, were a crowd of survivors and grieving relatives present, they would smash the piano into kindling, save for the peace-symbol lid, which they would thwack the pianist over the head with.

John Lennon wrote "Imagine" in 1970. From the look of him, the pianist was only in short pants back then, or perhaps not even born. Yet his response to a very 21st century atrocity is to assure the world that the ancient peacenik bromides still apply.

...The European Union doesn't need to imagine John Lennon's "Imagine" because it lives in it. As I wrote nine years ago in my book America Alone:

"Imagine there's no heaven." No problem. Large majorities of Scandinavians and Dutchmen and Belgians are among the first peoples in human history to be unable to imagine there's any possibility of heaven: no free people have ever been so voluntarily secular.

"Imagine all the people/Living for today." Check.

"Imagine there's no countries." Check. The EU is a post-nationalist pseudo-state.

"Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion, too." You got it.

And yet somehow "all the people/Living life in peace" doesn't seem to be working out.

Nothing is a more reliable indicator of a lack of imagination than singing "Imagine". We sing the same crappy songs but we do not live in John Lennon's 1970. For example, what has changed since the year Lennon wrote his apparently indestructible talisman? Also from America Alone:

Here's what did happen between 1970 and 2000:

In that period, the developed world declined from just under 30 per cent of the global population to just over 20 per cent, and the Muslim nations increased from about 15 per cent to 20 per cent...

Just to recap those bald statistics: In 1970, the developed nations had twice as big a share of the global population as the Muslim world: 30 per cent to 15 per cent. By 2000, they were at parity: each had about 20 per cent.

And by 2020...?

Well, you can't really measure those distinctions anymore. "Imagine there's no countries"? It isn't hard to do: "Citizens" of some 11 "nations" were supposedly involved in the Paris slaughter - native-born Belgians, immigrant Frenchmen, "refugee" Syrians. It makes no difference. Because the Islamic State has come up with something greater than their nominal citizenship, something that commands fierce allegiance and provides them with a real identity.

While we were "living for today", Islam was playing for tomorrow. When you sing "Imagine", you're saying you can't imagine anything beyond the torpor of the moment. You can't imagine that there are people who don't think as you do, and who regard the cobwebbed boomer-pop solidarity as confirmation of nothing more than your flaccid passivity.

Our enemies understand how myopic we are. They attack a concert by Eagles of Death Metal, which is not without a certain blood-soaked irony: In our world, "death metal" is a genre at iTunes. [UPDATE: Those who know these things tell me Eagles of Death Metal is not a "death metal" band, which I suppose makes the name an ironic commentary upon a genre at iTunes.] In our enemies' world, the term is literal: They bring real death metal to our "death metal" concerts, and pile high the corpses. In our world, it's all pose and attitude. In theirs, these words still have meaning.

Speaking of which, I see a Canadian "journalism instructor", whatever that is, doesn't care for my attitude:

U know what I'm sick of Mark Steyn, "tough" guys like u hiding behind a keypad while others do the fighting, killing & dying.

I'm not sure what point Mr Mitrovica is making here. I have not called for more bombing raids, more boots on the ground, more war. Because, I regret to say, it's not worth brave soldiers "fighting, killing & dying" for a home front as enervated as ours. As I said a few hours ago, war is merely the sharpest tool of national strategy, and so, if you have no national strategy, there's no point going to war. It's a complete waste of time bombing some guy in the Iraqi desert when Angela Merkel is forcing a German village with 120 people to take 750 "refugees". The overseas and home fronts have to be in sync.

What I have called for, for 14 years now, is more civilizational confidence - as opposed to incremental surrender, of free speech, of women's rights, and much else. And the absence of that civilizational confidence is why we're reduced to waving obsolescent talismans like "Imagine". Am I a "tough guy"? No. I was nervous, to put it very mildly, when I landed in Copenhagen a month ago to speak on the tenth anniversary of the Motoons - in part because four of the five people who'd appeared on stage with me on the fifth anniversary had been shot at, firebombed or forced into hiding and I had no wish to be added to their number; in part because both the US State Department and the UK Foreign Office had issued travel advisories warning their citizens that it was dangerous to be anywhere near our event; and in part because the same kind of social-media types who gloried in the Paris attack were promising to attack Copenhagen. But I was humbled and honored to join genuinely brave friends like Katrine Winkel Holm and Douglas Murray in a European capital where free-speech events are shot up and their speakers forced from public life. And I note that you never see the likes of Andrew Mitrovica standing up for freedom of expression in Copenhagen, or Paris, or during Maclean's battles over Section 13 in Canada, or anywhere else. Which is a shame - because right now the freedom to use the "keypad" is in danger. So I'll take lessons in toughness from Lars Vilks, Charb, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Lars Hedegaard, Oriana Fallaci and others - but not from "journalism instructors" who won't even defend their own "keypad".
Read more here.

Did you do the reading?

Seth Godin writes,

It's absurd to think of going to a book group meeting and opining about a book you didn't even read.

More rude: Going to a PhD seminar and participating in the discussion without reading the book first.

And of course, no one wants a surgeon operating on them if she hasn't read the latest journal article on this particular procedure.

It makes no sense to me to vote for a candidate who doesn't care enough to have read (and understood) the history of those that came before.

A first hurdle: Are you aware of what the reading (your reading) must include? What's on the list? The more professional your field, the more likely it is that people know what's on the list.

The reading isn't merely a book, of course. The reading is what we call it when you do the difficult work of learning to think with the best, to stay caught up, to understand.

The reading exposes you to the state of the art. The reading helps you follow a thought-through line of reasoning and agree, or even better, challenge it. The reading takes effort.

If you haven't done the reading, why expect to be treated as a professional?


In what is becoming an annual tradition here at Bob's Blog, we herein post the thoughts of Suzann Darnell as we begin another Thanksgiving week. Suzann lives in San Antonio, Texas, and is the daughter of Curt Dale, whose posts we are delighted to publish here from time to time.

At this time of year my thoughts naturally turn to thoughts of gratitude, religion, and patriotism. I guess it is because one thing I am most grateful for is that America was founded upon the idea of religious freedom. I cherish this. In part because I am a Mormon . . . and let's face it, we haven't always been the most tolerated of church-going communities in the world. But, now Christianity has become a target for intolerance throughout the world. Even within the borders of our own country!

I am also thankful for freedom of speech, although I sometimes fear that it is slowly being leeched away with government and societal intrusion into our lives with ever-increasing political correctness.

I am grateful for the right to bear arms. I look at history and realize that an armed citizen is a free citizen. Those nations which have taken away the right to bear arms are those countries which eventually have people without rights. Gun control is nothing more than a way to enslave a population bit by bit. Or, even kill off portions of the population.

I am grateful for freedom of the press. It allows me to learn what is happening throughout my country and the world. It allows me to have WoolyMammoth.Org and express my opinions in a way that can spread across multiple states and even the world, if people choose to access the website. But, I fear, that like so many rights, it too is being eroded. Censorship is becoming more prevalent. The liberal press has become chained to the Left as if it is a dog on a leash, seemingly doing what its Progressive masters want, without any real thoughts of telling either the truth or both sides of the story.

So, while I am extremely grateful for much about our country, I am also extremely concerned for those same blessings. The blessing of liberty comes with an obligation. An obligation to be vigilant. Ever vigilant. Lest our liberty be stolen away by the despotism of greed. Greed for political power. The kind of power that does not allow anyone to live outside the box of what is deemed best for the greater good. The sort of greater good that has been tried over and over in places like France during their bloody revolution, Russia under the Communists, Germany under the Nazis, Iran under the Mullahs, and far too many other places and dictatorships to list.

I am afraid my gratitude has become increasing tinged with an attitude of skepticism and concern. Concern for what the future might hold for me, my family, my neighbors, and my country. Concern that far too many of the things I am grateful for will disappear into the giant abyss where the Progressives are throwing all those freedoms of which they do not approve. Let us make preparations not just for this week’s feast and celebration, but for the coming fight to save our rights. Rights important enough for the Pilgrims and pioneers to leave their homes, travel across the seas and the land, and eventually establish communities and a country all across what became a great nation. A nation we must not allow to fade into the obscurity of the failure of socialism.

So, as we celebrate this most American of holidays, please let us give thanks for what we have, while making a promise to both defend and regain those rights which have allowed us to prosper. As we celebrate this November, let us prepare for all the Novembers to come, when we must vote to oust those who would oppress us and deny us the liberties that some of our forefathers came to America to achieve. As November 2015 winds down, we are facing many trials that will be forced upon us by those who misuse their power, ignore our laws, and deride our traditions. Let us be strong, band together, and find strength in the Lord. God bless America and may all y'all have a happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Going where Obama has not

French jets took off a week ago for Raqqa,
the Islamic State group's de-facto capital in Syria on Sunday night, destroying a jihadi training camp and a munitions dump in the city of Raqqa. (Nov. 15)
From AP

Have you received your new "chip" credit cards?

Dave Taylor writes at Lifezette about the new "chip" credit cards. They are a big improvement in fraud protection for in-store or in-gas-station purchases. Taylor writes,
What you should have received when you got that new “chip and PIN” credit card from your bank was also a 4-digit PIN. It’s the combination of the secret code and the chip that make the transaction much more secure. Also, the data on these chips is actually encrypted, making it a lot more secure than the simplistic mag-stripe, which is easily swiped, read and duplicated.

However, Taylor warns,
Don’t get too complacent, however, because none of these technologies offer much protection against online fraud. When you buy something at, or, you’re simply typing in your credit card number, expiration date, and CCV, all of which are easily duplicated.

And that’s a problem. American consumers only account for about 25 percent of all credit-card purchases worldwide, but are the victims of more than 50 percent of the world’s credit-card fraud. Indeed, not a month goes by without reports of another huge data breach from an online merchant.

Not enough to worry about? Turns out you can also have your credit-card data stolen by simply having someone too close. Criminals can use RFID scanners to reap your digital bounty in a practice known as “skimming.” You can protect your cards by wrapping them in foil when not being used, or, if you don’t want to look like a crazy person, by purchasing a special foil-lined wallet.
Read more here:

It's Trump night on You Tube

Well, this is a "yuge" night for ABC and Donald Trump. ABC has posted three videos. The first one is Barbara Walters with Trump the candidate. The second one is with Barbara Walters, Trump, and Trump's wife Melania. The third one is excerpts repeated from the first two videos, plus Barbara Walters interviewing Trump's children.

Traveling to the welfare state

Anjem Choudary (center), a prominent British Islamist, has urged his followers to quit their jobs and claim unemployment benefits so they could have time to plot holy war. "We [Muslims] take the Jizya, which is ours anyway. The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar [non-Muslim]. They give us the money. You work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar. We take the money."

George Igler makes some interesting points at Gatestone Institute:
The United Nations, in 2000, advocated the "replacement" of Europe's population by Muslim migrants.

...Even in a country with an established Islamic population such as Britain, Muslim unemployment languishes at 50% for men, and 75% for women.

Furthermore, Muslims in Britain represent the demographic with the highest birth rates. Coupled with their levels of unemployment, these imagined saviors of a moribund European social welfare model are, as a group, the recipients of the state's revenue, rather than contributors to it.

...The "blind eye" turned towards polygamy in Britain, France, Belgium and Germany has ensured that some Muslim men have upwards of 20 children by multiple wives, almost always at state expense. This suggests that families with fundamentalist views are outbreeding their more moderate coreligionists.

A recent study in Denmark pinpointed that, of the full range of backgrounds of migrants who had settled there, Syrians had the lowest levels of employment of all (22.8%). A separate longitudinal study from Denmark also showed that, of those Muslim migrants who had come to Denmark claiming to be refugees: only one in four had actually succeeded in finding a job after a decade.

...Those using an economic rationale to implement Europe's demographic transformation, fail to recognize the complexities of Islam: they ignore the fundamentalist revival that has been ongoing for over a century. One feature of this growing embrace of literalism is a belief -- validated by scripture -- that Muslims are entitled to idly profit from the productivity of infidels. This view puts the entitled conduct of a great many migrants into an unexpected, but much needed, context.
Read more here:

If you’re not determined to win at any cost, you’ll lose.

Ralph Peters writes in the New York Post,
The Obama administration has tried to spin its timidity and ineptitude in the face of Islamist terrorism as a clever policy of “strategic patience.” With eyes closed and fingers crossed, the president hoped that, miraculously, the mortal threat from ISIS would wither away.

You might as well hope that malignant tumors will cure themselves.

...Obama wouldn’t go to Raqqa. So the jihadis went to Paris.

Friday’s thoroughly planned and boldly executed attacks not only brought darkness to the City of Light, but scored an enormous propaganda victory for ISIS. With almost 500 Western casualties, a quarter of them dead, the carnage will prove electrifying to potential jihadi recruits around the world.

Just as important, our dithering also gave ISIS time to refine its techniques and strategies. Less than a year ago in Paris, a struggling al Qaeda staged a shocking, if crude, attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine. That incident now seems bush league compared to the latest attack, with its near-simultaneous strikes on six symbolic “lifestyle” targets packed with infidel victims.

The first attack was savage. Friday’s attack was savage and sophisticated.

Last week’s attack was planned in Syria. Three strike teams then infiltrated back into France or were activated in place. A support network supplied them with weapons and cars.

Limiting their communications to the bare minimum (and encrypting them), they relied largely on the techniques terrorists used a century ago: small cells, minimal contact, low profiles and deep planning (real strategic patience).

The result? A handful of men with small arms and home-brew explosives stunned the world.

Technically, the Paris attacks were the result of intelligence failure. But that label’s just too easy. The French are quite good at surveillance. But they’re restricted by law (as are we) in what they can do domestically; they’re overwhelmed by the number of potential threats; and they face an adaptive, elusive enemy.

The ugly truth is that ISIS and its affiliates have been allowed to put down such deep roots that more attacks are inevitable. Here, too.

What can be done? The answer is easy to mouth — and unwelcome to those who conduct foreign policy by platitudes (such as “there’s no military solution”). The base line is that you can’t win by playing defense. You must take the war to the enemy — without restraint. If you’re not determined to win at any cost, you’ll lose.

Our military has the resources to shatter ISIS, but political correctness has penetrated so deep into the Pentagon that, even should a president issue the one-word order, “Win!,” our initial actions would be cautious and halting. We’ve bred a generation of military leaders afraid of being prosecuted by their own government for the kind of errors inevitable in wartime. Instead of “leaning forward in the foxhole,” our leaders lean on lawyers.

If lawyers had had to approve our World War II target lists, we couldn’t have won. War is never clean or easy, and the strictures imposed on our military today just protect our enemies. Collateral damage and civilian casualties are part of combat and always will be. The most humane approach is to pile on fast and win decisively — which results in far less suffering than the sort of protracted agony we see in Syria.

The generals who won World War II would start by leveling Raqqa, the ISIS caliphate’s capital. Civilians would die, but those remaining in Raqqa have embraced ISIS, as Germans did Hitler. The jihadis must be crushed. Start with their “Berlin.”

Kill ten thousand, save a million.

Unthinkable? Fine. We lose.